Five ways to grow better roses

Coaxing roses to produce a spectacular floral display is easy, if you follow a few simple rules. Learn more about deadheading, pruning, feeding and staking your roses, below.

With a bit of care and attention, you can encourage your roses to flower all summer long. Support them, feed and water them regularly, remove spent flowers and watch out for signs of pests and diseases. Our five tips, below, will ensure your roses put on a show-stopping display.

Deadhead regularly

Deadhead roses regularly, otherwise plants will set seed rather than make more flowers. Healthy stems only need the flower head removing, but weak spindly ones need cutting back hard, to encourage new growth. Prune to where stems are at least pencil thick, even if it means removing almost the entire shoot.

Always cut just above a healthy, full-sized leaf. That's where the hormones concentrate, so the plant is able to produce a new flowering shoot quickly.

Feed and mulch

Mulch roses in spring and autumn, with well-rotted compost or manure. Feed them in summer with a feed containing potash and magnesium, for better blooming. Prevent mildew developing on the foliage by watering regularly, directing your hose or watering can at the base of the plants.

Provide support

Support old-fashioned shrub roses by placing poles around the plants and tying stems to them. Train compact climbers and ramblers up pergola poles, vertical pillars or an obelisk. Standard roses also need supporting. Replace the original cane with a stronger stake and use tree ties to secure them.

Control dieases

Choose disease-resistant varieties to avoid blackspot, mildew and rust, though in warm and humid summers, even disease-resistant varieties can be affected. Rake up and remove fallen rose leaves to reduce the risk of reinfection, and use a fungicide if necessary.

Choose the right rose

Before being seduced by a pretty picture, consider which rose is best for your garden. Old-fashioned varieties rarely flower all summer long, while modern ones do. Order bare-root plants in summer, for delivery for planting in autumn.

Discuss this plant feature

Talkback: Five ways to grow better roses
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

June 24/11/2011 at 15:29

You must have read my mind. This is the first year I have grown roses and was just wondering should I stake them and also how to take a cutting. I don't know a great deal about roses having concentrated mostly on veg - just dabbled with flowers - you know the normal ones to keep the garden looking cheerful and covering up the summer weeds!
Thank you for the timely advice.

seeker33 24/11/2011 at 15:29

Very useful info as usual, I now keep your advice/tips in a calender of folders in the local Folders area of Outlook Express. Keep the advice coming, its all excellent stuff.

mitch1872 24/11/2011 at 15:29

my dog rose flowered last year it also had a baby but this year nothing not even a bud i have had alot of whitefly and only been treating them with water and removing by hand as i have quite a few ladybird now and dont want to discourage them.

mallingopal 08/10/2013 at 21:55

I would like some information on how to look after roses grown in tubs, they don't seem to like my garden soil, which is very light and sandy, so I would like to try growing them in tubs. I have read up on how to grow them and have followed all the information given but still don't seem to have any luck.